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One. Big. Playlist.

(Not) an entry into the quarantine playlist challenge

By MaxPublished 4 years ago 3 min read
At time of writing it will take me 4 days of non-stop listening to reach the end ...

There's two reasons I've not entered the Quarantine Playlist challenge.

One is that I don't have a Vocal Plus account, for reasons that I'm half-tempted to write down just to see if this article would still get published. (That's an experiment for another time).

The second is I don't have a quarantine playlist.

I have "Listening List". A gigantic playlist of podcasts, music and audiobooks that has been a staple of my laptop and my old-school iPod nano for about a year at this point.

It started when my phone refused to sync properly. Largely because I didn't have an apple-approved iPhone charging cable and the device decided to throw a hissy fit rather than work properly. I swore, then tried to find something else to sync.

My old iPhone perhaps? Oh no, no, no, no. I'm not being the kind of person who goes around with two phones. That's for obsessive Pokemon Go players, drug-dealers and people who cheat on their spouses. Besides I can't remember the password for it.

I did have a neon pink iPod that I bought off one of my sister's friends. After charging it back up for the first time in five or six years, I had a nice look through my teenage music choices. A truly staggering amount of J-pop and emo anthems downloaded from questionable websites. I cleared it's data, plugged it in and tried to see if it would sync.

It did.

Happy days.

Now, for the first few weeks or so I just used it as I used to, putting in my favourite tunes and songs in it to listen as I went about town. But after I moved to Scotland I found myself with a lot fewer people to talk to and a lot more time to travel. I had a quick look through the settings and found out that I could sync podcasts as well.

Excellent. Great. I couldn't sync every single podcast I listen to, nothing on Earth has enough storage to deal with that (yet). But I could put on the next few I was listening to.

Now, as with everything I do, I started to get stressed, I started to feel like listening to podcasts was a chore more than anything. I vented about this to a friend who gave me some very good advice:

"Just put them in order of length,"

This proved to be a good idea, I could go through way more podcasts in a day rather than spending a whole day and end up listening to (most of) an episode of Dan Carlin's Hardcore History. But still I started to wobble and fall off the wagon again. Sometimes it can be hard to listen to people talking and talking and talking and talking non-stop.

And that's when I had an idea that is equal parts stupid and genius:

"Why not add in some music?"

Yeah, as well as loads of podcasts I haven't listened to I have loads of music I haven't listened to! As well as keeping up with my podcasts this could be a brilliant way of getting to listen to some new music that's been sitting in my hard-drive for years!

That's when I worked it out, going alphabetically by album artist I'd put one song from the album in between each podcast on the list. This was all working out quite splendidly. Until I came across an audiobook.

Well now what? Did I split each three minute section of Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe's Havoc between podcasts? Or did I just listen to it all in one sitting? Best thing to do, I figured, was treat it as a podcast, but not incorporated into the same "order of length" thing I was doing with the other podcasts because ... well, because that was harder to figure out.

So, let's break it down. What is the Listening List?

  1. Get all your podcasts in together. Add the first unlistened episode of each podcast to the playlist.
  2. Arrange them in order of length, shortest to longest.
  3. Find a music album you haven't listened to yet and add it to the playlist.
  4. Put one song between each podcast episode.
  5. When you finish a podcast put the next episode of it into the playlist
  6. When you finish an album, put another album in, and split the music up the same way.
  7. Listen.
  8. Question your life choices.

Would I recommend this? Oh dear lord in Heaven no. No, no, no. This is an absolute mess I've created. It's a Frankenstinian monster.

But if you feel like you're working on the same strange operating system that my brain is, give it a shot anyway.


... oh shoot, what am I going to do about my audible books?

... and my Big Finish plays?

... Oh no ...

... Oh no, I'm not done with this, am I?


About the Creator


My name is Max, English teacher in Japan, lover of video games, RPGs and miniature painting.

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